If it looks like a lake monster … and it swims like lake monster … and it just left Loch Ness … it must be the Loch Ness monster! Right? That’s admittedly some pretty weak logic (although it’s been used in attempts to prove the existence of far more serious things than monsters and ducks) but it’s backed up by an underwater video from a reputable fishing organization that has an underwater camera in the Ness River. Wait, what? Why have we been wasting our time watching for Nessie on that 24/7 Nessie cam at Urquhart Castle when we could have been watching for it on an underwater cam? And what exactly IS that thing swimming from Loch Ness to the ocean?
“Let’s be honest - when you see a large, eel shaped object passing your camera in the River Ness, the first thing you think of is #lochnessmonster”
That’s the Facebook comment of the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board underneath a video of what appears to be a large eel-like creature swimming past its underwater camera in the River Ness. If you haven’t figured it out for yourself yet, the camera is there so this fine organization can do what it’s been doing since 1862:
“The Ness District Salmon Fishery Board is a statutory body responsible for the protection and enhancement of salmon and sea trout fisheries in the Ness District.”
The camera is there to monitor salmon runs and help local fisheries restock local rivers and streams. Since the Loch Ness monster sucks up almost all of the aquatic attention in Scotland, it’s easy to forget that this country’s waterways provide some of the best salmon fishing in the world for fly fishermen, conventional anglers and even those with quick enough reflexes to nab one with their bare hands. And, since there’s no longer any bear hands belonging to the wild variety in Scotland, humans, development (also humans) and climate change (ditto) are their worst enemies, which is why 2019 is the International Year of the Salmon – to call attention to the declining numbers of the fish.
What about the thing in the video?
Oh, yeah … thanks for the reminder. You can watch the video here. The video and comment were posted on the Board’s Facebook page on September 1st. While the creature looks large in comparison to the salmon in the shot, it’s difficult to determine its actual size. However, the defensive response of the salmon is priceless and telling. The comments don’t add any additional info, nor does the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board’s website (although it’s loaded with plenty of info on fishing in Scotland). The Loch Ness Mystery website picked it up and added the valuable tidbit that “the flow is from left to right indicating Loch Ness is to the left and the Moray Firth to the right.” The Moray Firth (Scottish for inlet) opens to the North Sea and both it and the Ness River could easily handle Loch Ness monster traffic.
The European Eel (Anguilla Anguilla) is a critically endangered species that breed in an area of the west Atlantic called the Sargasso Sea. The young then swim to the freshwater rivers of their parents to develop. They can reach up to a meter in length and can survive out of water and move across the ground. An early (1933) Loch Ness monster sighting by George Spicer and his wife met the description of an unusually large ell. Is that what was captured on the salmon-cam? According to the Scottish Wildlife Trust, eels travel in the Ness River between December and January. This video was taken in late August. Hmm.
If it’s not a giant eel … what is it?
If it looks like a …